How to Reinstate Your Suspended Drivers License in Maryland
The Maryland drivers license reinstatement process can be completed through the state Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA). Revoked and suspended drivers licenses in MD are handed down to drivers who commit qualifying offenses — both driving and non-driving. The procedure to reinstate drivers licenses generally varies based on the type and seriousness of the committed violation, as well as on the corresponding penalty issued by the MVA.
During the restoration process, drivers may also be required to complete certain steps in person through a local office of the MD MVA. Learn how to complete the process of reinstating drivers licenses in Maryland in the following sections.
Reinstating a Maryland Suspended License
Drivers must reinstate driving licenses in Maryland prior to operating their vehicle once again, since driving with a suspended license is against state law. The process can be completed only after meeting the conditions of your drivers license suspension or revocation.
Note that motorists reinstating driving licenses in MD may be required to meet certain court requirements, in addition to the ones set forth by the administration. The MVA also offers drivers the option to request an administrative hearing during which they can present their case in order to avoid incurring a DMV suspension.
The administration generally sends out notices of upcoming driving license suspensions, which contain details about the reinstatement procedure. If you do not receive the suspension reminder, you can easily order your driving record via the internet to learn more about the specifics of the MVD-imposed penalty.
How to Reinstate a Maryland Suspended Drivers License
During the process to reinstate suspended drivers licenses in Maryland, drivers will be required to complete several steps, which vary based on the committed violation and the MVA-issued driving license revocation or suspension. Drivers with revoked drivers licenses, for instance, will be required to apply for a new MD license, as the administration invalidates their credentials in such circumstances.
When reinstating drivers licenses in MD, motorists may be required to complete any of the following steps:
- Surrender your suspended drivers license to the MVA.
- Wait out a period of suspension or revocation.
- Satisfy any court requirements (if required).
- Pay a reinstatement fee, as well as any additional costs.
- Enroll in a defensive driving program (if required).
- Apply for a new credential (if required).
The above list does not outline all steps in the MD driving license reinstatement process, as based on the specific nature of your offense and subsequent penalty, you may also be required to complete additional steps. Certain drivers convicted of a DUI violation, for instance, will be required to participate in the MVA Ignition Interlock Program.
Suspension Periods in Maryland
Prior to initiating the Maryland driving license reinstatement procedure, drivers will generally be required to complete a specific penalty period. The duration of the drivers license revocation or suspension period varies based on the severity of the committed offense and the type of penalty issued by the MVA.
Note that habitual offenders are punished more severely, and the administration increases the duration of their driving license suspension in MD for each subsequent violation. If you are unsure of the details of your suspension period, you can obtain the necessary information by obtaining your MD driving record via the internet.
The following list outlines several types of violations and their corresponding penalty periods:
- First instance of accumulation of more than 11 points on your record: A six-month driving license revocation in MD.
- Accumulating 12 or more points for the second time: A revocation of 12 months.
- Committing two or more moving violations while driving with a provisional driver’s license: A credential suspension of 30 to 180 days.
- Refusal to submit to a breathalyzer test: 270 days of suspension.
Note: Certain types of revoked or suspended driving licenses in MD will last until the holder completes a certain action to lift the MVA penalty. Drivers who failed to pay a traffic citation, for instance, will be unable to reinstate their credentials until they resolve the issue with the corresponding court.
Maryland Point System
The MVA also issues suspended and revoked drivers licenses in Maryland for accumulating an excessive number of points on your record. The administration will assess the demerit points after receiving the court notification of a conviction for a moving violation.
When issuing MD driving license suspensions and revocations, the MVA takes into account the points that were assessed within the last two years. Negative points lose their value after 24 months of the date of conviction.
The following types of MVA actions will be implemented after accumulating a specific number of points within any two-year period:
- 3 to 4 demerit points: The administration sends out a letter of warning.
- 5 to 7 negative points: The driver will be required to enroll in a defensive driving course.
- 8 to 11 penalty points: The MVA mails out a notice of a drivers license suspension.
- More than 11 points: Motorists face an MD drivers license revocation.
Drivers who are at risk of incurring a revoked or suspended driving license in MD for point-related violations can either accept the MVA penalty or request a hearing and plead their case. For certain types of Driving Under the Influence offenses, you may also be able to avoid the punishment by enrolling in the Ignition Interlock Program.
Traffic School in Maryland
In certain cases, drivers may be able to avoid driving license suspensions in MD by enrolling in an approved defensive driving program, also known as the Maryland Driver Improvement Program (DIP). Note that drivers who graduate from an MVA-approved traffic school will not have their total point count lowered.
The purpose of the DIP course is to avoid adverse MVA actions, such as suspended or revoked drivers licenses in MD, by rehabilitating the behavior of reckless drivers. Enrolling in a defensive driving course is a disciplinary measure administered by the MVA, by district court judges and by administrative law judges.
Drivers facing an MD drivers license revocation or suspension who are required to participate in a defensive driving course with be notified of their obligation by mail. The administration’s referral letter will contain a list of approved defensive driver program providers, as well as instructions on how to enroll in a DIP course. Licensees will be issued a suspended drivers license in MD if they fail to complete the program by the date displayed on the MVA notice.
Types of Maryland Driver’s License Suspensions
The requirements to finalize the Maryland driving license restoration procedure generally vary based on the type of drivers license suspension issued by the MVA. The MVA also penalized drivers with revoked driving licenses in MD, in addition to credential suspensions.
Unlike license suspensions, drivers will be required to reapply for a new license to drive after the conclusion of the revocation period. The following list provides several examples of violations that lead to different types of driving license revocations and suspensions in MD:
- Neglecting your child support obligations.
- Driving a commercial vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
- Failing to resolve a traffic ticket in due time.
- Committing more than one traffic offense during your provisional license period.
In addition to the standard MD driving license suspensions and revocations issued as a result of the violations listed above, the MVA may also take other types of administration actions. If the administration determines that certain licensees were ineligible to receive a license to drive, they will have their credentials canceled. Driving license cancellations may also occur if the driver provides false information during the license application process.
Maryland DUI Suspensions
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) offenses lead to stricter Maryland driving license revocations and suspensions. In addition to being penalized with revoked or suspended drivers licenses in MD, for instance, motorists who commit a DUI offense also face jail sentences and large penalty fines.
Note that drivers younger than 21 years of age and commercial drivers must abide by more rigorous DUI rules and regulations. Per the Under 21 Alcohol Restriction law, for example, young motorists are prohibited from drinking at all. Repeat DUI offenders will be required to meet stricter driving license restoration requirements as well.
Note: In comparison to the penalties resulting from DUI convictions, drivers arrested for a Driving While Impaired from Alcohol (DWI) violation are subject to less severe punishments.
Drivers Older Than 21
Reinstating drivers licenses in Maryland from a DUI or a DWI conviction is a process that varies based on the nature of the offense, the resulting driving license suspension or revocation and any additional criminal penalties. Drivers who commit more serious DUI offenses, for instance, may be required to participate in the state Ignition Interlock Device (IID) program.
You also face a drivers license suspension in MD if you refuse to submit to a chemical test for purposes of determining your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC). Review several types of DUI offenses and the corresponding penalties in the following list:
- First DUI convictions for driving with BAC larger than .07 will result in MD driving license revocations of 180 days, fines of up to $1,000 and one-year jail sentences.
- Second or subsequent DUI conviction for driving with a BAC level .08 or higher may result in a revoked driving license for the duration of one year, a $2,000 fine, a two-year jail sentence and mandatory participation in the IID program.
- First DWI convictions result in six-month driving license suspensions in MD, $500 fines and a two-month jail sentence.
- Second DWI convictions may result in a suspended driving license for the duration of nine months to one year, a $500 fine, as well as a one-year jail sentence.
Depending on the severity of the violation, drivers who are required to participate in the IID program will have to operate their vehicle with an IID-restricted license from six months to three years. Motorists who commit three or more DUI offenses, those who were transporting a child at the time of the violation, and drivers who participated in an accident that resulted in a fatality are at risk of stricter punishments.
Drivers Younger Than 21
Young motorists can incur more severe drivers license suspensions in Maryland for the same types of DUI and DWI offenses outlined above. First DWI convictions, for instance, may result in suspended drivers licenses in MD for the duration of one-year, instead of the standard six-month suspension.
Drivers younger than 21 years of age must also abide by stricter rules and regulations regarding DUI and DWI offenses. For example, young motorists will be in breach of the law even if their BAC level is below .08.
In order to avoid a driving license suspension in MD, drivers younger than 21 years of age who commit DUI or DWI offenses will be required to participate in the state Ignition Interlock Device program. Furthermore, motorists who provide alcohol to minor drivers are also subject to penalty fines ranging from $2,500 to $5,000.
Car Insurance Suspensions in Maryland
The process of reinstating suspended drivers licenses in Maryland must also be completed after incurring a drivers license suspension for a lapse in your vehicle insurance policy. If you are unable to present proof of a valid MD vehicle insurance coverage after participating in an accident, for instance, you may lose your license to drive. In addition to the MVA adverse actions against their driving credentials and car registrations, motorists who drive uninsured are also facing a penalty fine, which increases for each day they are without valid coverage.
In order to avoid a suspended driving license for a no-insurance offense, drivers must maintain a policy of at least $15,000 in property damages, $30,000 for bodily injury for one individual and $60,000 for two or more individuals. If you are required to provide proof of a valid car insurance policy to the MVA, you can do so by submitting the Maryland Insurance Certification (Form FR-19).
Traffic Summons or Failure to Pay
The administration will also issue suspended drivers licenses in Maryland to drivers who fail to pay a traffic ticket or appear at the scheduled hearing to contest it. To inform motorists of their citation obligations, the MVA sends out suspension notices.
To avoid an MD driving license suspension for failure to pay a traffic ticket, drivers will be required to provide the fine payment prior to the effective date of the suspension. If you fail to do so, your credential will be suspended and you will first be required to fulfill your court obligations before reinstating your credential. The District Court will submit a request to the MVA for suspension termination once you pay the fine.
Motorists can plead guilty and pay the fine via several methods. In addition to accepting in-person and by-mail payments, the state District Court may also accept credit card payments submitted by phone or via the internet. If you choose to avoid a suspended driving license by contesting the ticket, you can request a new hearing date (in case you failed to appear at the original hearing).
Maryland Hardship Drivers License
Drivers who are completing a Maryland drivers license suspension period may be able to obtain a restricted driving credential, which can be used for specific driving purposes such as traveling to and from work or school. Drivers whose physical health do not allow them to operate a vehicle with an unrestricted credential, may also be eligible for a hardship license.
Since your eligibility for a hardship license is based on the offense that resulted in your suspended drivers license, the MVA reviews requests for restricted driving licenses on a case-by-case basis. Prior to applying for a restricted credential, contact a local MVA location to inquire whether or not the circumstances of your driving license suspension allow you to do so.
Applying for a Maryland Hardship License
Prior to becoming eligible to reinstate suspended driving licenses in Maryland, drivers who were permitted to apply for a restricted driver’s license can generally do so through a local office of the MD DMV. Note that the process may vary based on the type of restriction that was imposed. Drivers who were issued suspended driving licenses due to a medical condition, for instance, may be required to install special equipment in their vehicle.
The MVA may also inform you of your eligibility for a restricted credential and how to apply for it with a mail-in notice. When applying for a restricted license, you may generally be required to complete any of these steps:
- Submit an application form.
- Present certain evidentiary documents.
- Supply documents that confirm your eligibility for a restricted license, such as an employment verification document.
- Pay an application fee.
Drivers License Reinstatement Fees
In order to complete the Maryland drivers license restoration process, motorists often have to provide payment for different types of fees. The base amount of the MVA drivers license reinstatement fee generally varies based on the type of penalty issued by the administration. To restore revoked driving licenses in MD from a DUI-related penalty, for instance, drivers will be required to pay a larger fee than to reinstate a credential after a conviction for other violations.
In addition to the driving license restoration cost, motorists may also be required to pay additional fees specific to their case. If you are reinstating your credential after a medical impairment-related suspension, you will be required to pay a fee ranging from $45 to $75 to the administration’s Medical Advisory Board.